Tag:Da'Quan bowers
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm

Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

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Posted on: November 19, 2011 1:36 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2011 1:38 pm

Haynesworth had a nice first week in Tampa

A. Haynesworth had a nice first week in Tampa Bay (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’ve poked  plenty of fun at Albert Haynesworth’s expense since the Eye on Football blog came into being, because No. 1, that’s what we do and No. 2, Haynesworth has made it so easy.

So, we should point out the positive impact made by Haynesworth in his first week in Tampa Bay because No. 1, we want to be fair and balanced in our coverage of him and No. 2, it’ll be nearly impossible for those good vibes to last.

We know Haynesworth has been lazy and money-hungry and an unwilling team player. But he’s trying to change, because, really, how many chances does he expect to get now that the Redskins and Patriots made a show of wiping their hands of him?

And he actually played well for the Buccaneers last week, making five tackles and blocking an extra point (the latter, especially, requires the sort of effort we rarely see from Haynesworth).

"I wouldn't say it did anything for my confidence because I know what kind of player I was,'' Haynesworth said, via the Tampa Tribune. "When I looked at the film, I saw things I've got to improve on, but playing in this system is almost like getting back to what I did at Tennessee.”

Ah, Tennessee, the place for which he’s apparently longed since he left to sign a gargantuan deal with the Redskins.
Haynesworth's New Home
It was in Tennessee that Haynesworth had his greatest success, in part because of his defensive line coach Jim Washburn. But after he left, Haynesworth has fallen on hard times (on the field and in the legal system).

But now it seems -- and remember, it’s still extremely early in his Tampa Bay tenure -- he’s taken on more of a mentor role.

"Albert's a great guy, almost like a coach around here,'' defensive end Da'Quan Bowers said. "He comes and tells me little things in my ear to try to make me a better player. Everyone seems to think he has a negative attitude, but I haven't seen it. Hopefully, he stays positive and I think he will.''

So, that’s great news for the Buccaneers organization. But is anybody going to be surprised when this deal begins to go south and Haynesworth stops caring and stops putting forth an effort? No. In fact, we’d be more surprised if it doesn’t go south by the end of the season, because No. 1 and No. 2, we’ve seen this show before.

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Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:19 pm
Edited on: November 6, 2011 11:29 pm

Report: Gerald McCoy lost for season again

G. McCoy apparently has torn his biceps muscle (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For the second straight season, Gerald McCoy, the Buccaneers first-round pick in 2010, apparently has been lost for the year after tearing his biceps muscle.

That’s what players told reporters, including the St. Petersburg Times, and the loss for Tampa Bay -- which played the past two games without McCoy, struggling with a bum ankle -- is a tough one for the Buccaneers defense.

“It’s unfortunate,” cornerback Ronde Barber said. “You hate to see that happen, especially with a young player. We’re a different team without him.”

McCoy was a No. 3 pick in 2010, but, assuming he goes on IR, will have played only 19 games in the first two seasons of his career.

“Hey, stuff like that happens, man,” defensive tackle Brian Price said. “I feel bad for him because he had the same injury last year, just on the other arm. My heart goes out to him because I know how hard it is being on IR. I just hope he gets better.

“We can’t count our losses and be sorry for ourselves. We just have to keep pushing.”

This might be a good good chance for Da’Quan Bowers to get more playing time, but at this point, he’s considered undersized to play much on running downs.

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 12:31 pm

Skins' Jenkins lost for season with torn ACL

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was something of a surprise when Jarvis Jenkins was drafted ahead of his Clemson teammate Da'Quan Bowers, but the Redskins' second-round pick has been a pleasant surprise at defensive end, and unlike Bowers, there were no concerns about an injured knee. That changed Thursday night when he hobbled off the field against the Ravens. According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter John Keim, Jenkins tore the ACL in his right knee and will be lost for the season.

It's awful news for a Redskins defense that had played well in the preseason, both against the run and the pass. Jenkins has had an impressive training camp, and appeared to pass veteran Adam Carriker on the depth chart when he started Washington's second preseason game against the Colts.

“He’s a powerful guy and he just needs more time on the grass,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said of Jenkins lat week, according to the Washington Post

Jenkins was injured on the Ravens' second offensive possession as he tried to make a play on ball carrier Ray Rice.

“I was doing a stunt on that side, and I seen the running back cutting back,” Jenkins told the Post. “So when he cut it back, I kind of reacted to him. I had my hands on the lineman trying to throw him. I threw him, and I tried to plant at the same time and redirect, and something just popped.”

Initially, there was optimism that Jenkins might be okay. “Hopefully it’s not too bad," he said after the game. "I’ve never really had a major injury, so I’ve just got to try to keep a positive attitude about it. And if it so happens that I’ll be out for a while, I’ve just got to stay motivated and get back as soon as I can. I’ve just got to stay positive about it.”

Unfortunately, it turns out that Jenkins will be out for a while, which complicates things for Haslett and the Redskins' defense. On the upside, it appears the Redskins could actually have a competent starting quarterback this season.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 11:15 pm

2011 NFL Draft rookie contracts coming in

Posted by Will Brinson

There's been plenty of action in free agency thus far (don't forget to follow it all in our live, updating Experience and with our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker!), but it also warrants mentioning that there have been a good number of first-round draft picks signed by various teams over the past few days.

Interestingly, many of these players who are signing have received fully guaranteed contracts, something you don't typically see with rookies, even though the total contracts, because of the new rookie wage system, are coming in lower than previous years.

For instance, the Cowboys signed Tyson Smith, their top pick, likely right tackle for 2011 and eventual successor to Doug Free, to a four-year, $12.5 million deal which is entirely guaranteed. By contrast, C.J. Spiller, taken in the same spot last season by the Bills, received a five-year, $25 million deal with $20.5 million guaranteed.

The Bengals signed Georgia wideout A.J. Green to a four-year, $19.6 million deal, all of which is also guaranteed, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy. (Trent Williams, by contrast, got $60 million with $36.5 guaranteed out of the No. 4 slot from the Redskins in 2010.)

The 49ers reported via Twitter that they've signed all their draft picks, including second-round quarterback Colin Kaepernick (four-year deal) and first-round defensive end Aldon Smith. Financials haven't been put out yet.

The same goes for the Buccaneers, who signed first- and second-round picks Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers (deets on the monies aren't out yet last I checked).

In Denver, Von Miller is "expected" to sign a four-year, $21-million deal with the Broncos soon. He probably would have seen up to $50 million more (not all guaranteed, of course) under the old rookie salary system. The ironic part? He was a named plaintiff on the Brady v. NFL lawsuit. It's worth noting that Miller's not sweating losing any pile of money and says he "plans on getting three, four, five contracts."

[(UPDATED 4:47 p.m. ET): John Elway confirms the team has agreed to terms with Miller. Wrote Elway on his Twitter feed: "Can't wait to get him on the field."]

The final thing to remember as the first-year player contracts start to come in? There's a fifth-year team option built into these four-year deals, and that deal must be picked up by the end of the third year or else the amount owed balloons to an average of the top-10 salaries at the position.

If a player performs well in his first three seasons then, he stands to either get locked for a fifth year or find himself inked to a new contract sooner than he expected.

Everything's not all roses, though. Agent Jack Bechta writes at the National Football Post that some teams are utilizing dollars for later-round picks and allocating them towards first rounders. It's not happening often, at least right now, but Bechta cites it as a "disturbing trend" because it's something that could potentially create a false inflation system for first-round picks as agents try to get more money than the player drafted the previous year.

There's not telling how often that will happen going forward, but it's still a bit concerning as the rookies current wages are pushed back because of the new CBA.

On the bright side, if shifting salaries does happen, it's a lot less likely that JaMarcus Russell remains the biggest NFL Draft bust forever. So there's that.

UPDATED 7:48 p.m. ET: The Jaguars have announced that No. 10 overall pick, QB Blaine Gabbert, has signed his contract.

UPDATED 11:14 p.m. ET: No. 13 pick Nick Fairley has signed a four-year deal worth about $10 million with the Lions.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 5:00 pm

Hot Routes 5.19.11: Beck's mullet retrospective

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • I don't know why, but I just can't quit John Beck. Whatever the Redskins would-be starter is doing is just making me wish more and more that he DOES end up starting. Of course, Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post isn't exactly doing much to kill my mancrush by posting a retrospective look at Beck's mullet. Which probably tells you worse things about me than it does Beck, but whatever.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 9:15 am

Agent: Bowers should be ready for training camp

BowersPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Just because we’re not closing in on the NFL draft anymore doesn’t mean that Buccaneers DE Da’Quan Bowers’ agent can’t try to create some optimism about Bowers’ knee.

According to Joe Flanagan, Bowers’ agent, Bowers is actually ahead of schedule (via the St. Petersburg Times), though, unlike in February, March and April, this news affects only one team and not 32.

As I’m sure you’re aware, Bowers was once considered a top-five pick (at one point, he even briefly flirted with the possibility of the Panthers drafting him No. 1 overall), but after not working out at the NFL combine – he said he was 100 percent, and then he didn’t do much of anything – and missing Clemson’s Pro Day (he had to have his own Pro Day later in the draft process), he slipped all the way toward the end of the second round.

Some have labeled Tampa Bay’s decision to grab Bowers at No. 51 an absolute steal, while others point to the rumors that numerous team doctors around the league didn’t clear Bowers and that the possibility of Bowers needing microfracture surgery is a huge impediment to the rest of his career.

Flanagan obviously believes in the former, saying that Bowers expects to be ready for training camp (whenever that is). He also points to the theory by noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews that Bowers, for now, isn’t looking like a player who will be hampered by that knee in the long term.

I imagine the Buccaneers team doctors would like to form their own opinion, but, as we all know, they’re not allowed to do so while the lockout continues.

"Dr. Andrews said if there were going to be problems (down the road), they'd show up pretty quick," Flanagan told the Times. "He hasn't had any swelling, soreness or pain. He hasn't had to back off at all. He didn't have a good workout on the field (at his pro day) but the fact that he did the workout at all was impressive."

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Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:44 pm

Hot Routes 5.8.11: Tell your mom you love her

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • … And speaking of places where Kolb might play next season, the Arizona Republic discusses how the Cardinals’ patience while waiting to sign a starting quarterback might just pay off. And maybe not taking a quarterback in the NFL draft was actually the smart plan all along.
  • From the Miami Herald, here’s the latest on the Dolphins QB situation: “the chances of (Chad) Henne being the regular-season starter for Miami in 2011 are greater than the chances he is replaced.”
  • The NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora talked to some league insiders who rated the best performances of last week’s draft. The Buccaneers got high marks for Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, and the Packers got positive press for a number of picks.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com